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Re: CULT: Iris in Large Barrels & reminder

  • Subject: Re: CULT: Iris in Large Barrels & reminder
  • From: Linda Mann <lmann@icx.net>
  • Date: Sat, 11 Aug 2001 09:30:09 -0400

Gesine said:
<Out of hundreds of rhizomes, we've had about 4 rot,
even in the wettest weather.  We're in zone 9 (San Francisco
bay area).  We've had good increase.>

I've not been very successful growing irises to blooming size in pots,
other than a few really tough guys, & think there are several factors
involved in my failures.  No proof, but maybe my speculations might be
useful to others.

For one thing, the amount of rain doesn't seem to have much to do with
rot for most cultivars - the key seems to be good air circulation to
leaves & rhizomes & good aeration to the soil.

Erratic watering and high temperatures seem to really bring on the rot.
I think the roots must grow into micro sized pockets of soil that are
well aerated when the soil in the pot gets too dry, then suffocate when
it's flooded with moisture again.  High temps seem to aggravate this
problem.  Low humidity & breezes help keep the foliage healthy, but not
the roots.

As others have mentioned, temperature extremes are much greater in pots
than in the ground - the soil in the ground (i.e., the planet earth)
makes a huge reservoir to moderate temperatures.  If you are growing
irises in a climate where you already experience damage to irises from
abrupt, really hard freezes (below ~25 F) while the plants are actively
growing (nice & green) in either fall, winter, or spring, damage &
subsequent rot will be even worse in pots.

I also suspect that keeping a steady supply of nutrients available to
actively growing plants may be as important to preventing disease
problems as keeping moisture supply steady.

As plants crowd each other, the effects of all of these factors probably
are harder to control.

PLEASE everybody, ALWAYS sign ALL of your posts with where you are, even
if it is just country or state/province in large countries- more
important than who you are, especially when talking about growing
plants.  Zone is nice, but climates within zones vary so much across
North American, it really isn't enough.  Several of you post a lot, but
never add this information to your signature - take pity on those of us
who can't remember what we ate for breakfast as well as those who will
go to the archives for help & may find your comments useful if they know
where you are talking about.  I can still remember where San Francisco
is <g> (thanks Gesine).

Linda Mann east Tennessee zone 7/8 USA

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